It came to my attention recently that one of my heroes, Roger Linn, is receiving a Grammy Merit Award for Technical Achievement. Quoting directly from the press release:
Roger Linn is a musical instrument designer who revolutionized the world of electronic musical instruments when he invented the LM-1 Drum Computer, the first drum machine to use digital samples of a real drum kit. Linn also went on to help in the design of other drum machines including the LinnDrum, Linn9000, the Akai MPC60 and Akai MPC3000. In 2002, Linn founded Roger Linn Design, which released the AdrenaLinn series of guitar pedals, which contain a digital multi-effects drum machine and amp modeler all in one that specializes in beat-synced effects. In addition to his production career, he is a guitarist and songwriter who has written hits for artists such as Eric Clapton and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
If you listened to popular music from the 1980s, you’ve heard at least one, probably several, of those drum machines–they were ubiquitous, and are to drum machines as, say, the Fender Telecaster is to guitars.
To lapse into name-dropping, one of the high points of my experiences at music-industry trade shows was meeting Mr. Linn in person, I believe at an AES show. He’s a very nice guy and was genuinely appreciative of the admiration that I expressed for his work.